Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Psychologist suspended for 18 months for boundary transgressions
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

Psychologist suspended for 18 months for boundary transgressions

05 Apr 2024

A tribunal has suspended a West Australian psychologist after finding he had engaged in professional misconduct by transgressing his client’s boundaries.

In March 2021, the Psychology Board of Australia (the Board) imposed conditions on Mr Jonathan Picton’s registration, ultimately referring him to the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australian (the tribunal).

For 13 months, Mr Picton sent text messages to a female client that became increasingly sexual. When he ended their therapeutic relationship by text, he failed to refer her to another practitioner or make sure she had ongoing support.

The Board alleged Mr Picton’s conduct breached the Code of ethics and demonstrated a ‘failure to appreciate the potential psychological and/or emotional harm associated with his behaviour’.

Since the Board’s immediate action, Mr Picton had been practising under close supervision from a Board-approved psychologist and was not allowed to treat women. He cooperated with the Board’s investigation and expressed regret for his actions and the distress he caused.

In December 2023, the tribunal found that Mr Picton had engaged in professional misconduct and ordered that he:

  • be reprimanded,
  • have his registration suspended for 18 months,
  • have supervision and education conditions imposed on his registration following his suspension, and
  • pay $5,000 to the Board's costs.

Read the tribunal’s full decision on the eCourts Portal of Western Australia.

Page reviewed 5/04/2024